Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Costa Rica the Republic of Costa Rica, is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island. It has a population of around 5 million in a land area of 51,060 square kilometers. An estimated 333,980 people live in the capital and largest city, San José with around 2 million people in the surrounding metropolitan area; the sovereign state of Costa Rica is a unitary presidential constitutional republic. It is known for its long-standing and stable democracy, for its educated workforce, most of whom speak English; the country spends 6.9% of its budget on education, compared to a global average of 4.4%. Its economy, once dependent on agriculture, has diversified to include sectors such as finance, corporate services for foreign companies and ecotourism. Many foreign manufacturing and services companies operate in Costa Rica's Free Trade Zones where they benefit from investment and tax incentives.
Costa Rica was facing a market liquidity crisis in 2017 due to a growing budget deficit. By August 2017, the Treasury was having difficulty paying its obligations. Other challenges facing the country in its attempts to improve the economy by increasing foreign investment include a poor infrastructure and a need to improve public sector efficiency. Costa Rica was sparsely inhabited by indigenous peoples before coming under Spanish rule in the 16th century, it remained a peripheral colony of the empire until independence as part of the First Mexican Empire, followed by membership in the United Provinces of Central America, from which it formally declared independence in 1847. Since Costa Rica has remained among the most stable and progressive nations in Latin America. Following the brief Costa Rican Civil War, it permanently abolished its army in 1949, becoming one of only a few sovereign nations without a standing army; the country has performed favorably in the Human Development Index, placing 69th in the world as of 2015, among the highest of any Latin American nation.
It has been cited by the United Nations Development Programme as having attained much higher human development than other countries at the same income levels, with a better record on human development and inequality than the median of the region. Costa Rica has progressive environmental policies, it is the only country to meet all five UNDP criteria established to measure environmental sustainability. It was ranked 42nd in the world, third in the Americas, in the 2016 Environmental Performance Index, was twice ranked the best performing country in the New Economics Foundation's Happy Planet Index, which measures environmental sustainability, was identified by the NEF as the greenest country in the world in 2009. Costa Rica plans to become a carbon-neutral country by 2021. By 2016, 98.1% of its electricity was generated from green sources hydro, solar and biomass. Historians have classified the indigenous people of Costa Rica as belonging to the Intermediate Area, where the peripheries of the Mesoamerican and Andean native cultures overlapped.
More pre-Columbian Costa Rica has been described as part of the Isthmo-Colombian Area. Stone tools, the oldest evidence of human occupation in Costa Rica, are associated with the arrival of various groups of hunter-gatherers about 10,000 to 7,000 years BCE in the Turrialba Valley; the presence of Clovis culture type spearheads and arrows from South America opens the possibility that, in this area, two different cultures coexisted. Agriculture became evident in the populations, they grew tubers and roots. For the first and second millennia BCE there were settled farming communities; these were small and scattered, although the timing of the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture as the main livelihood in the territory is still unknown. The earliest use of pottery appears around 2,000 to 3,000 BCE. Shards of pots, cylindrical vases, platters and other forms of vases decorated with grooves and some modelled after animals have been found; the impact of indigenous peoples on modern Costa Rican culture has been small compared to other nations, since the country lacked a strong native civilization to begin with.
Most of the native population was absorbed into the Spanish-speaking colonial society through inter-marriage, except for some small remnants, the most significant of which are the Bribri and Boruca tribes who still inhabit the mountains of the Cordillera de Talamanca, in the southeastern part of Costa Rica, near the frontier with Panama. The name la costa rica, meaning "rich coast" in the Spanish language, was in some accounts first applied by Christopher Columbus, who sailed to the eastern shores of Costa Rica during his final voyage in 1502, reported vast quantities of gold jewelry worn by natives; the name may have come from conquistador Gil González Dávila, who landed on the west coast in 1522, encountered natives, appropriated some of their gold. During most of the colonial period, Costa Rica was the southernmost province of the Captaincy General of Guatemala, nominally part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. In practice, the captaincy general was a autonomous entity within the Spanish Empire.
Costa Rica's distance from the capital of the captaincy in Guatemala, its legal prohibition under Spanish law from trade with its southern neighbor Panama part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada, lack of r
Les Troyens is a French grand opera in five acts by Hector Berlioz. The libretto was written by Berlioz himself from Virgil's epic poem the Aeneid. Les Troyens is Berlioz's most ambitious work, the summation of his entire artistic career, but he did not live to see it performed in its entirety. Under the title Les Troyens à Carthage, the last three acts were premièred with many cuts by Léon Carvalho's company, the Théâtre Lyrique, at their theatre on the Place du Châtelet in Paris on 4 November 1863, with 21 repeat performances. After decades of neglect, today the opera is considered by some music critics as one of the finest written. Berlioz began the libretto on 5 May 1856 and completed it toward the end of June 1856, he finished the full score on 12 April 1858. Berlioz had a keen affection for literature, he had admired Virgil since his childhood; the Princess Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein was a prime motivator to Berlioz to compose this opera. At that time I had completed the dramatic work I mentioned earlier Four years earlier I happened to be in Weimar at the home of Princess Wittgenstein – a devoted friend of Liszt, a woman of character and intelligence who has given me support in my darkest hours.
I was led to talk of my admiration for Virgil and of the idea I had formed of a great opera, designed on Shakespearean lines, for which Books Two and Four of the Aeneid would provide the subject-matter. I added that I was all too aware of the pain that such an undertaking would cause me to embark on it. "Indeed, the princess replied, the conjunction of your passion for Shakespeare and your love of antiquity must result in the creation of something grand and novel. You must write this lyric poem. You must start work on it and bring it to completion." As I persisted in my refusal: "Listen, said the princess, if you shrink before the hardships that it is bound to cause you, if you are so weak as to be afraid of the work and will not face everything for the sake of Dido and Cassandra never come back here, for I do not want to see you again." This was more than enough to decide me. Once back in Paris I started to write the lines for the poem of Les Troyens. I set to work on the score, after three and a half years of corrections, additions etc. everything was finished.
The work over and over again, after giving numerous readings of the poem in different places, listening to the comments made by various listeners and benefiting from them to the best of my ability On 3 May 1861, Berlioz wrote in a letter: "I am sure that I have written a great work and nobler than anything done hitherto." Elsewhere he wrote: "The principal merit of the work is, in my view, the truthfulness of the expression." For Berlioz, truthful representation of passion was the highest goal of a dramatic composer, in this respect he felt he had equalled the achievements of Gluck and Mozart. In his memoirs, Berlioz described in excruciating detail the intense frustrations he experienced in seeing the work performed. For five years, the Paris Opéra – the only suitable stage in Paris – vacillated. Tired of waiting, he agreed to let Léon Carvalho, director of the smaller Théâtre Lyrique, mount a production of the second half of the opera with the title Les Troyens à Carthage, it consisted of Acts 3 to 5, redivided by Berlioz into five acts, to which he added an orchestral introduction and a prologue.
As Berlioz noted bitterly, he agreed to let Carvalho do it "despite the manifest impossibility of his doing it properly. He had just obtained an annual subsidy of a hundred thousand francs from the government. Nonetheless the enterprise was beyond him, his theater was not large enough, his singers were not good enough, his chorus and orchestra were small and weak."Even with this truncated version of the opera, many compromises and cuts were made, some during rehearsals, some during the run. The new second act was the Chasse Royale et Orage, an elaborate pantomime ballet with nymphs and fauns and a chorus. Since the set change for this scene took nearly an hour, it was cut, despite the fact its staging had been simplified with a painted waterfall, rather than one with real water. Carvalho had planned to divert water from the nearby Seine, but during the rehearsals, a faulty switch nearly caused a disaster; the entries of the builders and farm-workers, were omitted because Carvalho found them dull.
The sentries duet was omitted, because Carvalho had found its "homely style... out of place in an epic work". Iopas's stanzas disappeared with Berlioz's approval, the singer De Quercy "charged with the part being incapable of singing them well." The duet between Dido and Aeneas was cut because, as Berlioz himself realized, "Madame Charton's voice was unequal to the vehemence of this scene, which took so much out of her that she would not have had the strength left to deliver the tremendous recitative'Dieux immortels! il part!', the final aria, the scene on the pyre." The "Song of Hylas", "greatly liked at the early performances and was well sung", was cut while Berlioz was at home sick with bronchitis. The singer of the part, Edmond Cabel, was performing in a revival of Félicien David's La perle du Brésil, since his contract only required him to sing fifteen times per month, he would have to be paid an extra two hundred francs for each additional perfor
National Library of the Czech Republic
The National Library of the Czech Republic is the central library of the Czech Republic. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture; the library's main building is located in the historical Clementinum building in Prague, where half of its books are kept. The other half of the collection is stored in the district of Hostivař; the National Library is the biggest library in the Czech Republic, in its funds there are around 6 million documents. The library has around 60,000 registered readers; as well as Czech texts, the library stores older material from Turkey and India. The library houses books for Charles University in Prague; the library won international recognition in 2005 as it received the inaugural Jikji Prize from UNESCO via the Memory of the World Programme for its efforts in digitising old texts. The project, which commenced in 1992, involved the digitisation of 1,700 documents in its first 13 years; the most precious medieval manuscripts preserved in the National Library are the Codex Vyssegradensis and the Passional of Abbes Kunigunde.
In 2006 the Czech parliament approved funding for the construction of a new library building on Letna plain, between Hradčanská metro station and Sparta Prague's football ground, Letná stadium. In March 2007, following a request for tender, Czech architect Jan Kaplický was selected by a jury to undertake the project, with a projected completion date of 2011. In 2007 the project was delayed following objections regarding its proposed location from government officials including Prague Mayor Pavel Bém and President Václav Klaus. Plans for the building had still not been decided in February 2008, with the matter being referred to the Office for the Protection of Competition in order to determine if the tender had been won fairly. In 2008, Minister of Culture Václav Jehlička announced the end of the project, following a ruling from the European Commission that the tender process had not been carried out legally; the library was affected by the 2002 European floods, with some documents moved to upper levels to avoid the excess water.
Over 4,000 books were removed from the library in July 2011 following flooding in parts of the main building. There was a fire at the library in December 2012. List of national and state libraries Official website
The Metropolitan Opera is an opera company based in New York City, resident at the Metropolitan Opera House at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The company is operated by the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association, with Peter Gelb as general manager; as of 2018, the company's current music director is Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The Met was founded in 1880 as an alternative to the established Academy of Music opera house, debuted in 1883 in a new building on 39th and Broadway, it moved to the new Lincoln Center location in 1966. The Metropolitan Opera is the largest classical music organization in North America, it presents about 27 different operas each year from late September through May. The operas are presented in a rotating repertory schedule, with up to seven performances of four different works staged each week. Performances are given in the evening Monday through Saturday with a matinée on Saturday. Several operas are presented in new productions each season. Sometimes these are shared with other opera companies.
The rest of the year's operas are given in revivals of productions from previous seasons. The 2015–16 season comprised 227 performances of 25 operas; the operas in the Met's repertoire consist of a wide range of works, from 18th-century Baroque and 19th-century Bel canto to the Minimalism of the late 20th century. These operas are presented in staged productions that range in style from those with elaborate traditional decors to others that feature modern conceptual designs; the Met's performing company consists of a large symphony-sized orchestra, a chorus, children's choir, many supporting and leading solo singers. The company employs numerous free-lance dancers, actors and other performers throughout the season; the Met's roster of singers includes both international and American artists, some of whose careers have been developed through the Met's young artists programs. While many singers appear periodically as guests with the company, such as Renée Fleming and Plácido Domingo, long maintained a close association with the Met, appearing many times each season until they retired.
The Metropolitan Opera Company was founded in 1880 to create an alternative to New York's old established Academy of Music opera house. The subscribers to the Academy's limited number of private boxes represented the highest stratum in New York society. By 1880, these "old money" families were loath to admit New York's newly wealthy industrialists into their long-established social circle. Frustrated with being excluded, the Metropolitan Opera's founding subscribers determined to build a new opera house that would outshine the old Academy in every way. A group of 22 men assembled at Delmonico's restaurant on April 28, 1880, they established subscriptions for ownership in the new company. The new theater, built at 39th and Broadway, would include three tiers of private boxes in which the scions of New York's powerful new industrial families could display their wealth and establish their social prominence; the first Met subscribers included members of the Morgan and Vanderbilt families, all of whom had been excluded from the Academy.
The new Metropolitan Opera House opened on October 22, 1883, was an immediate success and artistically. The Academy of Music's opera season folded. In its early decades the Met did not produce the opera performances itself but hired prominent manager/impresarios to stage a season of opera at the new Metropolitan Opera House. Henry Abbey served as manager for the inaugural season, 1883–84, which opened with a performance of Charles Gounod's Faust starring the brilliant Swedish soprano Christina Nilsson. Abbey's company that first season featured an ensemble of artists led by sopranos Nilsson and Marcella Sembrich, they gave 150 performances of 20 different operas by Gounod, Bellini, Verdi, Mozart, Bizet and Ponchielli. All performances were sung in Italian and were conducted either by music director Auguste Vianesi or Cleofonte Campanini; the company performed not only in the new Manhattan opera house, but started a long tradition of touring throughout the country. In the winter and spring of 1884 the Met presented opera in theaters in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, Washington D.
C. and Baltimore. Back in New York, the last night of the season featured a long gala performance to benefit Mr. Abbey; the special program consisted not only of various scenes from opera, but offered Mme. Sembrich playing the violin and the piano, as well as the famed stage actors Henry Irving and Ellen Terry in a scene from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice; the Metropolitan Opera began a long history of performing in Philadelphia during its first season, presenting its entire repertoire in the city during January and April 1884. The company's first Philadelphia performance was of Faust on January 14, 1884, at the Chestnut Street Opera House; the Met continued to perform annually in Philadelphia for nearly eighty years, taking the entire company to the city on selected Tuesday nights throughout the opera season. Performances were held at Philadelphia's Academy of Music, with the company presenting close to 900 performances in the city by 1961 when the Met's regular visits ceased. On April 26, 1910, the Met purchased the Philadelphia Opera House from Oscar Hammerstein I.
The company renamed the house the Metropolitan Opera House and performed all of their Philadelphia performances there unti